, Volume 101, Issue 4, pp 351–354

Horses and cows might teach us about human knees

Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s00114-014-1163-5

Cite this article as:
Holland, C., Vollrath, F. & Gill, H.S. Naturwissenschaften (2014) 101: 351. doi:10.1007/s00114-014-1163-5


Our comparative study of the knees of horses and cows (paraphrased as highly evolved joggers and as domesticated couch-potatoes, respectively) demonstrates significant differences in the posterior sections of bovine and equine tibial cartilage, which are consistent with specialisation for gait. These insights were possible using a novel analytical measuring technique based on the shearing of small biopsy samples, called dynamic shear analysis. We assert that this technique could provide a powerful new tool to precisely quantify the pathology of osteoarthritis for the medical field.


Dynamic shear analysis Osteoarthritis Cartilage 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  3. 3.Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal SciencesUniversity of Oxford, Nuffield Orthopaedic CentreOxfordUK
  4. 4.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of BathBathUK

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